Swiss lawyers threaten environmentalists

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By Gordon Dritschilo, STAFF WRITER | December 03,2016

A Swiss law firm claims Vermonters for a Clean Environment violated the rights of the owners of Omya by identifying them.

The organization received an email, dated Nov. 25, threatening legal action if two links regarding Omya were not removed from the VCE website.

“Omya Management AG is not a listed company, in which the ownership is legally disclosed by law,” the email read. “Omya Management AG, as well as Max André and Eric Schachenmann, are not interested in the fact that informations about the shareholders (ownership structure) are publicly accessible and visible on the Internet.” Continue reading

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Vermonters’ votes and surveys on wind


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Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources Response to VCE’s Investigation of GMP’s Lowell Wind

In July, 2016, VCE investigated the stormwater systems and ecological health of Green Mountain Power’s Lowell Wind site.  A reporter (not associated with VCE) sent the investigation to the Agency of Natural Resources.  On Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, ANR’s General Counsel sent the following information to VCE, with the following message indicating the state finds no issues and thinks everything is fine.  We believe the state of Vermont is covering up the failures of the stormwater system as implemented by GMP for the Lowell wind project.

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Wind Turbines in the Green Mountain National Forest


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OCT. 27, 2016, 7:03 PM

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment Inc. She lives off-grid with solar and serves on Danby’s Planning Commission and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission.

For a period of several years in the early 2000s I compiled news story lists on Vermont environmental issues. I did it for my own purposes and also as a service provided to others. Many people in the environmental community subscribed to my free frequent news story lists, organized by topic such as agriculture, energy, solid waste, groundwater, surface water, etc. Whatever was in the news, the historian in me (B.A. Vassar College in Contemporary European History, 1977) archived it. The public servant in me offered it to people who wanted it. I frequently have needed to refer to these archives in the intervening years.

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Vermont Wind Project Needs Votes, So Company Offers to Pay Voters


Vermont Wind Project Needs Votes, So Company Offers to Pay Voters


OCT. 12, 2016

A wind farm in Searsburg, Vt. Residents in nearby Windham are divided over whether to approve Vermont’s largest wind project. 

WINDHAM, Vt. — To many residents in this tiny town in southern Vermont, the last-minute offer of cash was a blatant attempt to buy their votes.

To the developer that offered the money, it was simply a sign of how attentively the company had been listening to voters’ concerns.

The company, Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish energy developer, wants to build Vermont’s largest wind project on a private forest tract that spans Windham and the adjacent town of Grafton. The project would consist of 24 turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall, and generate 82.8 megawatts of power, enough to light 42,000 homes for a year if the wind kept blowing, though the houses could be in Connecticut or Massachusetts. Continue reading

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Vermont cabin becomes lab to study wind turbine noise

Vermont cabin becomes lab to study wind turbine noise

FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2011 file photo, wind turbines line the hillside at First Wind’s project in… Read more

SHEFFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Once it was just another cabin on a Vermont hillside. Now it’s an emblem in the debate over noise from the growing wind energy industry.

Studies have repeatedly found no evidence connecting noise from wind power turbines to human health problems. But critics question the soundness of those studies. Among them are Steve and Luann Therrien, who say a wind farm near their home made their lives hell.

The case has created a fissure among environmentalists in this liberal state with a reputation for green thinking, pitting those who see wind energy as key to reducing reliance on pollution-spewing fossil fuels against those convinced audible noises and inaudible “infrasound” present health threats to those living nearby. And each side questions the objectivity of the other’s research. Continue reading

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